Volunteer Pilots Save Countless Children
A Denver, Colorado, nonprofit is helping ill children travel across the country in order to receive necessary medical treatment. Founded in 2010 by aviator and attorney Mark Pestal, AeroAngel and the crew of professional pilots help provide private flights for children who need to fly across the United States in order to receive medical treatment. The service is completely free and the transportation can begin at a moment’s notice.
While working for a different aviation charity, Pestal, 61, understood that there was a need for high-performance aircraft that could make long-distance journeys in adverse weather conditions in order to help children fighting immunocompromising illnesses, like cancer.
These illnesses often prevent children from being able to fly commercially due to the large numbers of people who can be found in airports and airplanes. AeroAngel’s private jets can help solve that as they are able to fly in small airports. This also means that flights are available in both rural and urban areas.
Pestal is currently the co-pilot in around 25% of the flights, but he is hoping to be able to increase the number of flights he can fly. He said that this is in many ways his dream job as he gets to help fly kids around and meet their families.
Aeroangel has received around $3.5 million in donations so far. They now hope to be able to expand their organization in order to help as many vulnerable children as possible.
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